Last week, we wrote that college-bound students and their parents need accurate information to carefully select a college that is within their financial reach.
Some schools have been accused of gaming the numbers to make their recent graduates seem more successful than they are.
We got a healthy reaction to that opinion and we’ll share a bit of that in a moment.
First, though, the editorial should not leave anyone with the impression that seeking career training or going to college is a waste of time.
The Center for Education and Workforce recently produced some eye-opening information that shows, basically, the more education a person receives, the better his or her chances of earning a decent living.
While the unemployment rate for recent college graduates with bachelor’s degrees is a disappointing 8.9 percent, it’s a crushing 22.9 percent for recent high school graduates and a catastrophic 31.5 percent for recent high school dropouts.
Still, students need to select colleges realistically with family resources and potential earnings in mind before borrowing unrealistically.
The CEW has produced a great online guide showing the earnings potential of various areas of study. (http://cew.georgetown.edu/unemployment/)
Now, for what our readers said.
Reader Mark Gravel disagreed:
Have we become that dumb as a nation where we need a government agency to guide us?
We live in an age of advanced technology. Doesn’t one simply jump on the Internet and research salary information? This information is so readily available one would be foolish not to make use of it.
I’m really ashamed to be an American if we are that stupid. Perhaps this is just another example of a failed school system. Do we even teach about compounding interest in high school anymore?
As did Mike LeBlanc of Wilton:
A large part of this problem is an antiquated “guidance” industry that tells a high school kid: Go to college or you’re a failure. And then tells a college student: Go to graduate school or you’ll be flipping burgers.
The editorial says, “Students and parents deserve accurate information.” On the other side, schools deserve to expect some level of common sense from a student, especially one who has managed to get all the way to law school; and some from his parents, if they’re paying the tab. No school, no business, no government owes you a job.
Then there was this cautionary comment from Frank Earley of Auburn:
FOR SALE: 2 college degrees, obtained in 1999, 2000.
1 is in computer electronics
1 is for computer network technology
2 or 3 A+ Certifications
Combined value, 4 pieces of paper and 50 cents might get you a cup of coffee.
Schools are more than anxious to take your money, but somehow they fail to provide the ability to keep up to date at a reasonable cost. Those degrees were obsolete before I got home from graduation.
The A+ certifications were out of date before I got to the last question on the test. They failed to inform me of the need to constantly upgrade my knowledge, as the technology changes from day to day. When you try to return to school the costs are so astronomical. Totally out of my reach.
The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and editorial board. Comments have been edited for brevity.